We fenced off some property in Texas 10 years ago, and ran cattle on it. Do we own it (adverse possession)?

We fenced off about 80 acres in Texas 10 years ago next to our land. We have run cattle on it and used it without anyone objecting to it. The heir owners lived on the East coast and had never seen it. They never came to Texas, and didn’t seem to care about the surface land. Then, they sold it.

A man showed up and said he was the new owner and told us to get off. Then he cut the fence to get access. He bought it sight unseen. We believe we now own it. We feel he bought some land that he has no right to. We plan to file an injunction to remove him.

Where do you think we stand here?

8 Responses to “We fenced off some property in Texas 10 years ago, and ran cattle on it. Do we own it (adverse possession)?”

  1. Vini Vidi Vici Says:

    No, he owns it. Freehold and titled land only reverts after 99 years. In fact if you push it too hard you could find yourself up for theft. The boundary only moves if the city came out and repegged and surveyed the new boundary.

  2. Philip McCrevice Says:

    Find out what the time requirement is. I think 20 years is the minimum. Also, the owners didn’t know you had squatted their land, they were on the east coast. The owner has to know what you’re doing and not say anything for 20 years.

    Good luck. I do not agree with this "Adverse possession" law. A deed to a parcel of land should be the only law.

  3. kvraz Says:

    if the guy bought the property he owns it and you should pay him back for the 10 years you "leased it".

  4. Mel Says:

    Better start moving those cattle.

  5. PATRICIA MS Says:

    Most states it is 15 years of adverse possesion with their knowledge. Check you local and state statutes before filing.

  6. Tom T Says:

    So long as property taxes were paid by the owners, the land is theirs to do with as they wish. You can file whatever you wish with whomever you wish, but in the end it isn’t your property.

  7. kelly c Says:

    You do not own this land. I hope they sue you for the time that you ran your cows illegally and you should have to pay to take down the fence you put up illegally. Why in the world would you think it is your land. You have paid nothing for it but gotten all the benefit of it.

  8. hexeliebe Says:

    In Texas, the statutory rules governing adverse possession are codified in Sections 16.021 through 16.034 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code. Section 16.021 defines adverse possession as the “actual and visible appropriation of real property, commenced and continued under a claim of right that is inconsistent with and is hostile to the claim of another person.” It requires action on the part of one party, the person adversely possessing the property, and inaction on the part of the current owner for three-, five-, and 10-year periods of time.

    The possession must be open, notorious, and hostile, such that the true owner knows you are trying to claim it as your own. This requires constant use, without permission of the owner, for the required period of time.

    You failed on the above portion of the statute. If you had asserted AP before the property was sold, you MAY have had a claim, but when the new owner told you to move the cattle, your claim for AP failed.